Women’s basketball continues Patriot League and home court undefeated streak
University President Sylvia Burwell guest coached during Koskimies’ career-high game
The AU women’s basketball team beat Boston University 66-50 on Wednesday night in Bender Arena with AU President Sylvia Burwell as their guest coach on the sidelines. With this win, the Eagles (14-4, 7-0 PL) continued their eight-game winning streak and undefeated Patriot League season.
Women’s basketball earned the title of Patriot League champions in the 2014-15 season, and they began that season the same way that this one has played out: 7-0 in the Patriot League.
“It’s one game at a time,” head coach Megan Gebbia said. “We need to figure out how to win the next however many games … in the regular season. I’m more focused on that. [The championship final game] will take care of itself down the road if we’re able to do that, but I’m not worried about that now.”
Junior guard Elina Koskimies topped her own career record, which she set for herself in Sunday’s win against Lehigh (20), by scoring 24 points against the Terriers.
“It’s easy to shoot when the ball comes at the right time, and BU didn’t really guard me that tight, so I just shot it,” Koskimies said.
Senior guard Emily Kinneston was the second-highest scorer on Wednesday, putting 17 points on the board herself. This game unleashed a hungrier side of Kinneston’s game: she made four steals and, twice, found herself in a mini dog pile for possession of the ball.
The Eagles were only outscored in the second quarter (12-10). The majority of AU’s points came from 3-point jump shots, which were largely scored by Koskimies.
“It’s nice to see Elina have the confidence from 3 that she’s shown for the past few weeks, probably since conference season started, and it made a difference in the game,” Gebbia said.
Koskimies scored seven out of her 11 attempted 3-pointers, and five other 3-pointers from the Eagles gave AU 36 points from 3-point shots alone. The Terriers, on the other hand, scored 15 out of their 50 points from 3-point jump shots.
Freshman guard Indeya Sanders also had a standout performance for the Eagles. Sanders put 3 points on the board with fewer than two seconds left on the clock in the second quarter. Sanders was only on the court for 12 minutes, but she left a lasting impact for the rest of the team.
Sophomore guard Katie Marenyi had buzzer-beating shot of her when she swooshed a 3-pointer in the first quarter’s final second. Her shot gave the crowd energy going into the second quarter of the game, and their cheers remained constant until the game’s conclusion.
Sophomore forward TaeKenya Cleveland played eight minutes and scored 5 points in that time – once through a 3-point jump shot and once through a layup.
Burwell’s two children accompanied the guest coach from behind the bench, and Burwell’s daughter, Helene, brought her own basketball team and their own families. There were 48 children in total behind the bench, Burwell said.
“This is [my daughter’s] third year of playing basketball,” Burwell said. “I’m very hopeful that this will lock my daughter into basketball versus my husband’s wish of soccer.”
The children were allowed on the court for the playing of The Star-Spangled Banner, performed by the American University Pep Band, and the children high-fived each AU starter as they jogged onto the court.
“It was a terrific opportunity for these young women and the brothers who were there as well to see what it means and what it takes to have this incredible experience to be D1 basketball and see the level of play and the importance of strategy,” Burwell said.